By Prudence Minayo
Kenya is often touted as a safe haven for investors. The people are a friendly lot and the country is a sight to behold with its beautiful flora and fauna. However, under this beauty lurks a dark cloud of unresolved murders. Over the years, Kenyans (and foreigners) have died under mysterious circumstances and their killers have remained largely unknown.
Below are billionaires whose deaths remain a mystery.
The 26-year old New Zealander entrepreneur was found dead in 2021 on the balcony of his Karen home. His body was reportedly found dangling from a rope at the balcony in what seemed like an apparent suicide.
“We were informed of the body of the young man at his house and we are now pursuing the matter. We were told it was suicide but the investigators are on it,” said Nairobi Police boss Agustin Nthumbi.
Jake had founded a 1.2 billion company while still in high school and was listed under Forbes Top 30 Under 30. He sold his second company Unfiltered- in a move that angered his investors and caused a lot of criticism in his country. Later, he announced his planned visit to Kenya and that he was never planning to go back to New Zealand.
Sudhir Takar was a co-owner of Ndarugo Plantation 1960 Ltd in Juja. The 68-year-old had left his home for a meeting with fellow directors. Afterwards, they drove to a coffee plantation where he was in the company of Francis Michuki, Francis’ bodyguard, Jesse Kariuki and five potential investors.
It was during the meeting that the father of two was shot on the neck and shoulder by a gunman on motorcycle. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. His widow and nephew Taruna and Jitan Shah believed his death was as a result of a sh3 billion sale of 150 acres of land. The family believe the meeting was a ruse to draw Mr. Shah then kill him.
The official story given to the police is that the group was attacked by two men with a motorbike who ordered them to lie down. The bodyguard refused to comply and took cover while aiming at the unwelcome visitors. Seeing that they were overwhelmed, the two fled the scene.
The highly publicized death of Dutch businessman Tob Cohen is still a subject of discussion to date. His mutilated body was found in a septic tank at his Kitisuru home. The body was discovered on September 13th 2019, two months after he went missing. The body was found blindfolded with the hands tied and a rope was also found around the neck.
The major suspect in the death was his wife Sarah Wairimu. She, however, claimed the late husband was murdered by powerful people who were after their Sh500 million Kitisuru home. The case is still ongoing with Senior Counsel Murgor representing her.
According to The Standard, Tob Cohen bequeathed nearly all his wealth to his sister, her children and his brother. Sarah’s lawyer, however, argued that the will was a forgery.
The late Cohen had emigrated to Kenya as an employee of Philips East Africa. He then founded a company that planned golf safari trips called Tobs Limited. He married Sarah in 2007 but it is reported the relationship deteriorated over time.
Jacob Juma was a Kenyan businessman with interests in several companies including: Cortec Mining Kenya Ltd, Pacific Wildcat Resources Corp, Cortec South Africa, Rio Tinto and First Western, UK.
He was known for speaking his mind unconcerned with the consequences. Two years before his death, he had sued a man (Bryan) for threatening his life. He had also been involved in suits with other prominent people. The businessman was found dead on May 2016.
Police who were first to arrive at the scene said the slain businessman’s lifeless body with fresh blood was found in his Mercedes Benz along Ngong road.
Pathologists report showed he was shot on the chest twice followed by five more bullets to the neck. The Standard reported that officers tampered with the scene of crime badly making it hard for the killers to be found. It was also reported that his car (with his body inside) was towed from the scene, which was against standard procedures.
Karandeep Singh Dhilon
Karandeep was a 35-year-old who operated a wheat and transport business in Baton and Nairobi. He was found dead two years ago in his Westlands home with a single bullet wound to the mouth which exited at the back of his head. His naked body was found in the bathroom and his dogs were dead from poisoning. According to the then police boss Philip Ndolo, those who executed him had to have entered and lay in wait for him for a while. None of his belongings were stolen.